You would not run a marathon without preparing. Labor and birth are your marathon and preparing for it should equal the event. Of course, always, consult with your provider before beginning any fitness program and listen to your body. I was an avid racquetball player when I got pregnant with my first child. I asked my provider if it was safe for my pregnancy. He assured me it was and when I asked when I should stop, he laughingly said, “Your body will tell you. You will know.” and, he was right. Always pay attention to signs and signals you need to stop or change your activity.
Your body is changing, and your energy level is, likely, sporadic, but, unless you are experiencing complications, pregnancy is the perfect time to get active, start a workout program at home or join a gym/studio, even if you haven’t been active, recently. Being active does not mean your workout has to be strenuous. Most recommendations include 30 minutes of moderate activity every day (or most days), but, if you are new to exercise, you can start with as little as ten minutes of walking and build up. If you are conditioned and have your provider’s approval, you should be able to continue your current workout and activity level.
According to the Mayo clinic, during pregnancy, exercise can:
Reduce backaches, constipation, bloating and swelling
Boost your mood and energy levels
Help you sleep better
Prevent excess weight gain
Promote muscle tone, strength and endurance
Other possible benefits of following a regular exercise program during pregnancy may include:
A lower risk of gestational diabetes
A reduced risk of having a C-section
While walking is a wonderful choice for every level and stage of pregnancy, dance programs are great for cardio and ligament release. Yoga and stretching are wonderful ways to keep your body balanced and loose. Make sure to avoid activity with risk of falling, extensive balance challenges, or that positions you flat on your back after the first trimester.
A few tips to help you stay motivated:
Have realistic goals and expectations
Find an accountability group or partner
Have an attitude of positivity and thankfulness
Staying active during pregnancy can help you prepare for the labor/birth marathon ahead, so start asap and, remember, your ability to move and be active is a blessing. If you need ideas for pre and postnatal programs, fill out the info in the contact tab/menu and I can help you choose one that fits your needs. Let’s get moving!